Consumer Reports is about providing car buyers with the latest safety recommendations on all types of vehicles. The site recently had its teams test over fifty 2022 models on rear-seat safety features. Surprisingly, two Acura models, the TLX and MDX, scored near the bottom of this lineup regarding rear-seat safety features. Let’s learn more about Consumer Reports testing standards and what scores these two Acura models received.
What goes into a rear-seat safety test?
For many years, automobile manufacturers and testing facilities have largely focused on the safety of the people sitting in the front of the car. However, in recent years, we have seen a trend where more importance and testing have been done on rear-seat safety. Consumer Reports is one source that provides consumers with all the latest safety ratings on both front and rear-seat safety features.
According to Consumer Reports, until the mid-2000s, back seats were always the safest place to sit. However, the last 20 years have been dedicated to advancing modern safety features associated with front seating. For example, front passengers get airbags to protect them in front and side crashes. Additionally, front seat belts on new cars also have pre-tensioners, which tighten the belt at the onset of a crash, and load limiters, which let the belt spool out a bit to reduce jerking force upon the chest.
While some manufacturers have invested significantly in elevating their rear-seat safety features, others haven’t invested the time or money necessary to integrate them into their new models. Some key categories evaluated regarding the quality of rear-safety features include child seat fit, booster-seat use, belt reminders, rear occupant alerts, advanced restraints like seat belt pre-tensioners, and rear head restraints. Two vehicles that have recently scored quite poorly on Consumer Reports’s rear-seat safety tests are the 2022 Acura MDX and the 2022 Acura TLX.
What’s going on with Acura’s rear-seat safety features?
Consumer Reports tested over 50 vehicles from the 2022 model year on their rear-seat safety features. Consumer Reports’ standards gave only eight of the 50+ cars tested a “Very Good” rating. The eight vehicles that received a “Very Good” review on rear-seat safety features include the Toyota Sienna, Nissan Rogue, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Civic/Civic Si, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford Bronco 4DR, Ford Bronco Sport, and Ford F-150 XLT.
As stated, two 2022 models that scored embarrassingly low on Consumer Reports’s testing standards were the Acura MDX and the Acura TLX. However, the Acura MDX faired slightly better than the Acura TLX overall. The MDX received a score of 48 from Consumer Reports. The vehicle received an “excellent” score on child seat fit, booster use, and head restraints and a “good” score on rear occupant alert and advanced restraints. However, this Acura model scored “poor” in the belt reminder category.
In comparison, the TLX received a score of 31 from Consumer Reports. This Acura model only received an “excellent” score in the category of head restraints. In the categories of child seat, booster use, and advanced restraints, the TLX received a score of “good” overall. This Acura model also received two “poor” scores in the rear occupant alert and belt reminder categories.
The 2023 Acura Integra is ready to clear the family name
While the 2022 Acura MDX and Acura TLX have seemingly dropped the ball regarding rear-safety features, it looks like its younger sibling, the 2023 Acura Integra, may be ready to save the family name. Consumer Reports has already tested the 2023 Integra and has given it a “good” score of 57. The Integra earned a “very good” score in the category of child-seat fit and a “good” score in the other five categories in the rear-safety seat test.
Regarding rear-safety features and price, the 2023 Acura Integra wins on all accounts compared to the MDX and TLX. The MSRP on the 2023 Acura Integra is $30,800, while the MSRP on the 2023 MDX is $41,350 and the MSRP on the 2022 TLX is $38,900. So, if you’re looking for a smaller Acura model with a better rear-seat safety score and a more economically friendly price tag, then the premium sport compact Acura Integra might be the best Acura model for you.